Mikel Arteta has done some wonderful business in the transfer market during his time as Arsenal manager.
The Spaniard has signed the likes of Aaron Ramsdale, Martin Odegaard and Gabriel Jesus over the previous two summer transfer windows, and they have significantly improved the starting XI, all ranking highly in WhoScored‘s performance metrics.
Despite the numerous positives, though, there have been a couple of howlers from the 40-year-old, with a former Chelsea player arguably leading the charge to be Arteta’s worst signing for the Gunners.
Willian joined Arsenal on a free transfer in 2020 following a stellar spell at Chelsea which saw him register 125 goal contributions (63 goals and 62 assists) while winning two Premier League titles and the Europa League.
Despite the Brazilian winger just turning 32, attracting a player of his quality was seen as solid business from Arteta, but the move didn’t exactly set the Emirates Stadium alight.
Scoring just once in 37 appearances wasn’t the impact that the manager would’ve expected from the player, and despite having a dribble success rate of 72% and making 1.3 key passes per game, the Brazilian couldn’t replicate his performances from his time at Chelsea.
The 34-year-old was dubbed “woeful” by Jack Goff and the whole experiment obviously didn’t work out for either party.
A move to Corinthians followed before moving back to the Premier League, this time with Fulham, at the beginning of the 2022/23 campaign.
Arteta has learned from this mistake and he appears to be diverting his attention to signing either youthful talents, or players at their peak, in order to improve his team going forward.
With the Gunners currently sitting pretty at the top of the league table, his methods seem to be working.